Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Challenges of Watercolours at the Beach

final (5)I now have a very comfy beach chair that is perfect to sit and do some sketching at the beach. I also have a nice little backpack that holds my art gear. So I should have little trouble making decent sketches. However there are two challenges wind & sand that introduce a fair bit of stress to the watercolour sketching process.
Using my wet/watercolour portable pallette on the beach is a like a magnet for sand. The mixing areas in particular have areas of wet paint being mixed and any small sand grains tend to collect here. The sketch book itself often collects a lots of sand on the damp areas and the little grains tend to suck in the surrounding moisture and pigments creating a speckled effect (nice for foliage and sand but not attractive in the flat wash of sky). If I put the sketch book down on the beach to dry … sand everywhere.
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However it is the wind even just a brisk breeze that plays more havoc. It blows around more sand and also pulls at the pages of my sketch book )one sketch book was pretty much unbound on this trip so it is now a lot of loose pages. Also the wind makes it hard to balance my portable paint pallette, brushes and water
There are a couple of  good solution to windy days, that I discovered, and relied on, on my recent trip. The first is big bulldog clips and/or masking tape. to hold my sketch book securely on my drawing board. The second is my set of Derwent Inktense Blocks which I use little like a “dry” pallette. Using a water brush I can just pick up the paint I need from the blocks and essentially leave the blocks dry (and less sand attracting). I tend to then mix the colours on the sketchbook page and I’m pleased with the results.
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